Not everyone is cut out for Christmas: the endless list of presents to buy, with reminders of it screaming at you from every window shop in your city; the pressure to get a Christmas tree and decorations; the meetings with family members you haven’t seen in a year and have no intention of talking to ever again…
If you are reading this article, you are probably one of those people who hate everything listed above. In that case, it’s your lucky day, because we want to offer you some Christmas-free options where you can spend your holidays without the intense commercialism and the less-than-pitch-perfect carol singers.
Even though Morocco is a Muslim country, Marrakech does have the option of celebrating Christmas, due to its multicultural population. But if you just avoid all the international restaurants and bars – which can be clearly spotted, as you will see all the Western tourists heading to them – you can experience the Moroccan lifestyle first-hand by spending your morning on a camel ride, walking around the Medina or enjoying a cup of their many delightful teas in the courtyard of a nice café.
And if after that you still feel the need to keep forgetting it’s Christmas time, you can always relax in the spa of your hotel of choice – as long as you have chosen a hotel that has one, that is. Some of the best choices would be Cesar Resort & Spa, Riad Nashira or Atlas Medina.
China has (not surprisingly) absorbed the Christmas consumer culture, and if you visit any of its main cities during the holiday, pictures, logos and life-size Santa statues will haunt you from every corner of Beijing, Hong Kong or Taiwan. But travel a bit south, to the island of Hainan, and you will stumble upon the tropical islands of Sanya.
Presented as the typical holiday resort you could also find in the Caribbean, Sanya can give you all the wonders of China while you sunbathe on the beach with a cocktail on your hand, each sip reminding you of the family quarrel you would having at that moment if you had decided to remain in your Christmas-filled country.
But if you truly want to experience a tropical holiday without mistletoe getting on your face, then one of the best choices is an escape to the Maldives.
If you eventually get tired of laying on the beach (although you probably won’t), the area is ideal to do some scuba diving and snorkelling, and you can even spend your afternoons doing some tourism – you can take a look at the stunning Malé Friday Mosque from outside, as you smile remembering all the mindless Christmas shopping you avoided doing this year.
That would be the easiest and cheapest option. You switch off your phone, and use the Internet only to order food and binge-watch TV shows and movies on Netflix, allowing Christmas in only when you watch the holiday classic Die Hard. Because not even your contempt for Christmas can stop you from watching that film.